Have you ever wondered why some of us are rich and wealthy, and some of us are not? Does God show favoritism when it comes to who should be blessed and who should not be? If God is a rich God and we are His sons and daughters, then why aren’t we financially-blessed equally? Why do some of us still lack despite giving faithfully? If God is a good God, then why doesn’t He bless us and make us rich? Why are some unbelievers or non-Christians more financially prosperous than Christians? Is God being unfair?
These are probably just a few of the countless questions that baffle our minds when we begin to compare our financial status with our relationship with God. However, it might be a surprise for some of us that the answers to these seemingly complicated questions are quite simple. Here are three Biblical truths that will help us understand why not every one of us is able to tap into God’s abundant financial provisions in our lives.
Does God trust us with HIS Money?
Before we understand why God does not make all of us rich, we need to realize that we don’t own anything. We are merely stewards. If we read the Parable of the Shrewd Manager in Luke 16, we see that the rich man had a manager who handles all of his affairs. Jesus made it clear the manager will only “handle” (and not own) His finances. Here we need to learn that we are God’s managers. Not the source. Not the owner. Not the creator.
One misconception a lot of us Christians have when it comes to money is this — we think it’s OUR money and therefore we can do anything we want with it. But the truth is it’s not. Just because God blessed us to handle money does not mean we own it. We may argue that it’s ours because we worked hard for it, but if we trace the root of all the provisions that we have, it all points back to God as the ultimate source and owner of everything that we possess, even our hard-earned money.
Psalm 24:1 (NLT) says “Earth is the Lord’s and EVERYTHING in it. The world and all its people belong to him.” Name it, God owns it—factories, offices, business, money, nature, houses, clothes, cars, food, buildings, trees, animals, streets, air, light, water. Everything is God’s. It would be helpful to remember that we are alive only because God gave us life and He continuously gives us strength. We have our salaries because God blesses us with good health so we can toil and earn. We have our jobs and businesses only because God provides them, as well as the opportunities and the favor that we need to be successful. Without God, we are nothing. Without God, we HAVE nothing. It’s HIS money, not ours.
“If you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own?” – Luke 16:12
God Gives ccording to our Ability to Handle.
As God’s stewards of His riches, we only have one task – to handle or manage whatever the King entrusts to us. And it is in our way of handling His wealth that God decides to whom He will give more and to whom He will give less. In Matthew 25, we read about the Parable of the Talents. The question is: Are we acting out its truth in our lives?
Matthew 25:15 says “…He called his servants and ENTRUSTED His money to them while He was gone. He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last – dividing it IN PROPORTION TO THEIR ABILITIES.”
Notice the word “entrusted”? Clearly, the Master was not giving it away for them to own it. He was simply asking them to take care of it while he was away. The three servants did not receive the equal amount of money. Was the master being unfair? Definitely not. Rather, he was being wise, fair, and even gracious. The master knew each of his servants’ abilities. He knew them too well that he recognized who can handle his money the wisest and who can be trusted the least. He knew that giving the same amount of money to the three servants would not be a sound decision as they have different ways and mindsets in handling money. And though he knew that one of his servants didn’t have the ability to make his money grow, he still gave him a chance to prove himself by giving him one bag.
Similarly, that’s how it works with us. We, as God’s servants, are entrusted with these “bags of wealth” according to our ability to manage it. God knows our levels of maturity when it comes to handling finances. He chooses the right people to whom He can entrust His wealth with, those who have the ability to utilize it wisely and make it grow. If you have a million dollars and would like to invest it, would you entrust it to your son or daughter who would just spend it impulsively and excessively on clothes, bags, computer games, shoes, luxuries, and other gadgets? Surely you wouldn’t.
Likewise, we can’t expect God to give us more if we can’t handle it responsibly. The Bible affirms this in Luke 16:10-11. “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven?
God can do whatever He wants to do with His wealth. He can choose whom to give it to. Thankfully, in His sovereign wisdom, He knows exactly to whom the wealth should be entrusted. Yes, God knows. And we don’t.
God Entrusts More to Those Faithful in Giving and Faithful in Using.
So why do some Christians have more money than other Christians? But one reason that applies in many cases is simply because they have been faithful managers. Sadly, some of us fail a bit in this area. Of course, we do not disregard that we are being blessed by God when we give or tithe faithfully. But that’s just one side of the coin. We must also remember that God has tasked us to take care of His wealth, which means we also have to be faithful not just in giving, but also faithful in using or spending.
While we may be found faithful in our giving, there is a possibility that we are being unfaithful in using or spending God’s wealth. How do we spend the money that God has entrusted to us? What do we do when we receive our salaries? Do we save? Or do we spend extravagantly? Do we buy more of our wants instead of our needs? Do we ask for God’s guidance before we use His money on luxurious products? Do we help those in need?
Going back to the Parable of the Talents, we see that the servant who was found to be the most faithful in handling his master’s wealth was given with so much more. Because he knew it was not his money, he didn’t use it haphazardly. Instead, he invested it and made it grow. In return, the Master was very pleased with him. The best part? The servant was entrusted with more of his master’s wealth and he was rewarded for his faithfulness. “Well done my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together.”—Matthew 25:21
Wouldn’t it be great to hear God commending us with these words, too?
Now we know why God may not entrust us with his money. Faithfulness requires so much more than just giving ten percent of our income every month. Faithfulness also requires discipline, wisdom, discernment, and self-control in handling God’s finances. This is why it’s important that we involve God in our financial decision-making. After all, it’s His money. It’s only due that He gets the final say.
“To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.” – Matthew 21:29